|Monday March 13, 2000
I've a lot to say but not much time to say it in. I have still been trying to recover from the Russian River Barrel Tasting event of nine days ago. We had between 1200 and 1400 people in here on Saturday and about a quarter of that number on Sunday.
We bottled up 3 cases of each of our 1999 wines just for this Barrel Tasting occasion. On Sunday night, I tasted all of them blind before we had homemade pizza for dinner. (Don't worry, I only had two pieces and I'm currently down 27 lbs.) As everyone knows I love young wines, but these were way too young. What struck me was that they were so concentrated and hopefully that will translate into the finished product. I identified none of them correctly, including the Aca Modot(I thought it was the Cab Franc-my favorite so far). In comparison to what I remember from the '96's, '97's and '98's at this stage, these '99's should be the best wines. To date, I still prefer the '96's and '98's compared to the '97's. I know most of my customers prefer the '97's because of the forward fruit, but since I learned to enjoy the flavors of young Bordeaux and Cabernet when I was younger, I now prefer the darker flavors of the '96's and '98's. I am hoping that the '99's may be a combination of the three.
As some of you know, there is an event that occurs during the last weekend of April of every year in Dry Creek called the "Passport to Dry Creek Valley." It has become one of the top 2 or 3 wine events in Sonoma County. And since this will be its 11th year, it has also become one of the most difficult events to get tickets for. Since I've been on the committee that helps to make decisions on this event and also on the Board of the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley, which sponsors the event, I have seen the changes in this event throughout the years. It has evolved into an event that Pat and I are having trouble appreciating. It is a lot of hard work arranging for it and participating in it, and we also do not agree with much of the way it has been administered in the last few years. As a matter of fact, I am so upset with the way it is run, that I've had a major disagreement with the woman in charge of the event and have decided to resign from the Board of the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley and of course the Passport Committee itself. Obviously, there are two sides to every story but I feel I have made the right decision for my peace of mind.
Friday March 17, 2000
Spring has arrived. We have had no rain this week and two days over
80 degrees. I just walked through the vineyard with Koovy (Susie's golden)
and noticed some bud break in our carignan block and also a lot in our
petite sirah. I did notice that the growth from last year in the new budded
over carignan block looked substantial, so we should get a decent crop
this year. Ryan is out right now spreading some nitrogen in the old vine
sections. If the vines in these areas don't respond more vigorously this
year, we may have to consider replanting in the next several years. If
there is such a normal time for bud break, I suppose the middle of March
is it. With continued good weather in the next few weeks we should have
an idea what the crop potential will be for the 2000 vintage. At that time
we will be releasing the form on our 2000 pre harvest futures offer. The
prices will be $12.50 per bottle (half retail) with no limits and $18 for
Aca Modot and $8.50 for the Sauv Blanc. Depending on how the crop level
looks, we will sell about 40% of the estimated cases we will produce. At
that time, which will probably be some time in May, we will end the offer
at those prices until a better estimate of the crop (after fruit set).
The prices will be somewhat higher at that time (probably $14) so purchase
what you feel comfortable with. After all there are only so many of you
brave souls who will purchase wine before it is made (remember I am always
threatening to take off for Australia with the money, but I hate traveling)
(:-)). I hate Winter and love Spring!!
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